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Route 66 News

Repairs being made on historic Route 66 near Springfield

A 1.3-mile stretch of old Route 66 near Springfield, Ill., that is on the National Register of Historic Places is being carefully repaired this week by county road crews, according to the Springfield State Journal-Register.

The 1920s section, called Olde Carriage Way, is south of East Lake Shore Drive south of Lake Springfield. Much of its original Portland cement structure is still there.

You can see the road on Google Maps Street View:


View Larger Map

According to the newspaper:

The section of Old Route 66 has its share of cracks and potholes, but “all in all, the road is in pretty decent shape for the age that it is,” Sangamon County Engineer Tim Zahrn said.

Because of the road’s historical significance, the county highway department tries to maintain its structural integrity while preserving as much of the original surface as possible, Zahrn said.

“It’s a balancing act,” he said.

Instead of resurfacing the road or patching holes and cracks with asphalt, the county uses concrete.

The crew also improved drainage, which will keep water off the road and lengthen its life span. Next year, the county will widen the shoulder, but nothing that will affect the integrity of the road surface.

Illinois Route 66 preservationist John Weiss helped get the road section on the National Register in 2009.

According to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, the stretch of road is one of five sections of Route 66 in the state on the National Register.

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4 thoughts on “Repairs being made on historic Route 66 near Springfield

  1. Susan Yates

    Good for them. Wish the same care would be given to the Scotch (AKA Ribbon and Sidewalk) Highway between Afton and Miami, Oklahoma. As you know, it is several miles of the original 9′ wide road with original concrete and curbs. Because it of an early realignment it was bypassed thus allowing it to remain in remarkably good shape. But because it is used as a farm road by local people there have been recent ‘Improvements” (ie. tons of gravel dumped on the road–gravel that spoils the look of the of drive and and will surely wear down the original concrete.) Do you know of any effort to reclaim the Scotch Highway, Ron?

  2. Gary Alexander

    Listen, I know I’m a newbie when it comes to 66. You want to talk about Hwy 99 in Central Cali (Hi, Scott P.!) then I’m one of the people to talk to. In other words, The Grapes of Wrath ended about a half hour south of me.
    I’m learning new things all the time about 66.
    Twice in recent memory, it has been clearly pointed out how flawed the “Here It Is” map series is. This is not meant as a knock on the maps. I used them to get to Texas earlier this year.
    However, there are several places they just missed. Like the subject of this post. At this point, the maps have you on I-55, looking for the Business 55 exit. (Sorry, I use the maps backwards being in California)
    When you compare what we have access to, vs say this (http://www.lincolnhighwayassoc.org/map/), there is something wrong.
    To be honest, a google map is the FIRST thing that we (yes, me too) should be working on. It may not be definitive to start, but it will become that over time.
    If the people (myself included) don’t know where the road went, how will we know to go there?

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